Mortality dynamics and policy changes: the case of Germany

Elisabetta Barbi, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Carlo G. Camarda, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

The aim of this paper is to investigate the hypothesis that rapid improvements in East German mortality after 1990 are largely attributable to all those positive changes that came with the reunification in 1990 as opposed to the alternative hypothesis that the improvements are largely attributable to factors that predate reunification. As a first inspection of the data, we examine Lexis maps of age-specific death rates for East and West Germany, for both sexes, between 1956 and 1999, for the age range 0-99. In a second step, we adapt various bi-dimensional statistical models to these surfaces of data over age and time. If a mortality surface can be captured by some model, then insights can be gained into regularities of the surface over age and time. Furthermore, areas of deviation from expected patterns can be located and these areas can be studied to determine the reasons for the deviation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3